Stupid Flyers tie up the stupid series and stupid Pronger probably thinks his puck stealing antics might have tipped the scales. And now the NHL – who had a great idea with this backwards footage commercials – pump them out like there’s no tomorrow.


Instead of debating that into the ground, lets talk some more about the City of Glendale, which is determined to hang on to it’s beloved Coyotes regardless of cost or how hooped their economy already is.


Pity if you will for a moment the conundrum of Glendale, Arizona, with the City of Winnipeg charging hard to reclaim the Jets and bring them back to the ice and snow. Add in the NHL, impossibly owning the team and looking for every reason to keep an unprofitable US franchise firmly in place. You know cause that long awaited National TV deal is right around the corner.

Finally there is the City of Glendale looking to do anything and everything possible to entice a new owner to come to Arizona and piddle their money away for another decade.

Since the Coyotes moved to Glendale in 2003 they have reportedly has lost $200 million-plus. This is amazing when you consider that the team moved out to Glendale from it’s original arena with the vague idea they would make more money in a new arena. Enter the spaciously elegant – and heavily subsidized – arena with it’s luxury boxes, luxury seats and luxury towncars.

Sounds like a recipe to print money right?


Two years after the move into the new arena Coyotes owner Steve Ellman seemed to understand that the team wasn’t going to make money until the Mayan Calendar turns over again, so he sold the team to trucking magnate Jerry Moyes in 2005.

Moyes continued the tradition of cheerfully propping up team losses until his natonal trucking company got shellacked by the one two punch of increased fuel prices and decreased freight traffic due to the overall crappiness of the American economy, which we estimates looks like this:

Which also had the effect of making the Glendale property prices go like this:


The fortunes of the Coyotes haven’t been helped by the Coyotes themselves, who have played something like this:

And now Glendale faces the real chance the Coyotes will leave town unless their spending to subsidize the team goes like this:

Which, amongst cash strapped and underwater Glendale citizens is about as popular as this:

But knowing that the Coyotes are the anchor tenant of a half built entertainment district that can’t attract financing already Glendale is in a real pickle. The hope that the sports and entertainment distruct will ultimately bring in much needed tax dollars and  help put the City back on it’s feet has left the City Council looking something like this:


Knowing all of this background information, one has to admire the Glendale City Council. These cats are determined to work with the NHL (who is in an extraordinary conflict of interest owning the franchise) and Ice Edge Holdings, which is in the running to keep the team in the desert for the forseeable future.

Together they are "working on the major parts of the deal," which is getting more lopsided and unbelievable by the day.

Under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding just released recently by the City of Glendale:

"The Buyer (of the Coyotes) will assign to the City … the right to manage, operate and receive revenues of the Parking Improvements and the related parking facilities for the Arena.

The (City of Glendale) will pay the Buyer an annual fee for granting the City the right to manage and operate the Parking Improvements (the “Parking Operations Fee”), which shall be payable in monthly installments equal to the amount of net parking fees collected, with any amount of the Parking Operations Fee not paid in monthly installments paid in full at year end."

Yes, yes. We can hear you now:

"Well that’s just fantastic Wanye. You have sullied my weekend with heavy graphing and a smattering of legalese. Condense it down for a fella will you?"

This basically means that the City of Glendale is going to guarantee the Coyotes $7.5 million per season in parking revenue as part of a larger strategic plan to "bend-over-backwards-and-take-one-in-the-rear."

If that isn’t enough – along with a heavily subsidized arena to begin with – the City is also prepared to guarantee $10 million in additional losses annually.


When people speak of the City of Edmonton "wasting money on an NHL team" by owning the proposed arena, we think it’s important to look at what wasting money really looks like. The civic debt of Glendale, AZ is twice the national average during a time when virtually every City Council in the US gulp nervously when their own debt comes for renewal. 

Everyone who lives in a City that can ill afford to be throwing more money after bad please stand up:


We would have to say that this type of fiscal activity borders on reckless, considering the dire financial state of the City of Glendale and the amount of money it has already pumped into the area.

The City has bet big on Pro Sports being a large part of the service economy in the City of only 225,000 tax payers, having been a large part of the continued funding of the Coyotes, the arena, an NFL arena and a pair of spring training facilities.


It is becoming increasingly clear that the plan has failed and the people of Glendale are starting to freak out too. 

Reports the Arizona Republic:

"I think (the City Council of Glendale) did do a good job for a while," said (Glendale Resient) Jones, 77. "But this wild spending … they went overboard. Their legacy will be they are the people that have left Glendale hopelessly in debt." Jones is referring to the hundreds of millions of dollars Glendale invested to turn farm fields in the western part of the city into a bustling sports and entertainment district.

The area is now home to professional football and hockey, spring-training baseball and dozens of new restaurants and businesses, bringing jobs and tax revenue along the way.

And, as the economy falters, the city’s promises for the area’s growth have not all panned out. The shopping complex Westgate City Center is behind its building schedule, the Phoenix Coyotes were on the verge of leaving after the hockey team’s owner declared bankruptcy this summer and the retail center planned around the spring-training ballpark hasn’t broken ground.

The developer, HB Equities LLC, still can’t find financing. Jones is worried that Glendale’s debt levels could endanger funding for services like police, sewers or streetlights, though city officials have repeatedly touted plans to pay off debt quickly without impact on services to residents."


Increasingly the fortunes of Cities and their Pro Sports teams have become more and more intertwined. Down in Glendale they have a City of a quarter million residents, with little economic momentum who has already pumped hundreds of millions into four seperate stadiums, a heavily subsidized sports and entertainment district and has footed the bill for parts of the operations of its Pro teams.

Here in conservative ol’ Edmonton we have an arena that was funded jointly by City, Provincial and Federal dollars waaaaay back in 1974.  In the 36 years hence, it is fair to say that this building has been paid off and owes the tax payers of the three governments little if anything else.

The long and steady utilization of the publicly funded arena for nearly a half of a century hardly smacks of financial mismanagement. A repeat of the project some 40 years later will result in a similar run of prosperous operation until the year 2054 if the building lives to be the same age.

And unlike the fortunes of Glendale, things seem to be mercifully stable up here in the frozen snow.

Did we mention we hate Chris Pronger? And love arenas? And feel sorry for Glendale?

Good. Now it’s time to go out and party.

      • Deep Oil

        So what you are saying in the conclusion of your musing is that you think that public funds should be offered when the examples Laforge and Black put forward institute a 80 – 20 partnership, with the private venture coming up with the cake. City takes the risk, and the incremental tax revenue of $14 million on 1 billion dollars will not cover the interest…… say what yee…..

        Lighthouse NYI
        Chicago United Center
        LA LIVE

        If you search, you will be presented with the funding equation. Note Columbus have lost $80 million AFTER their new building.

        Oilers can’t leave town, must be offered first to a local group under NHL MO, see PHX as per your own reference.

        So what you are saying is that you want (need is not a word you can use here), a new arena
        so 17 000 people can have exclusive use on concerts and other activities outside of hockey, as Oiler season ticket holders have first dibs on events.

        How about the fans contribute a Personal Seat License for these WANTS, how about the owner put $100 million in trust as a form of goodwill or negotiating tactic instead of blinking or changing the game as it’s played. Staples center was built with upfront naming rights money, what about the $75 million over the next 25 years that will be acrued, who deserves the coin, batman or the city ?

        Gimmme Gimmme Gimmmer, and when do I hear from the nation faithful about the high cost of beer at RX2, the inflated evening parking by the worm farmers in downtown edmonton, or dropping $30 for the buffet, instead of $12.95.

        As a Scottsdale resident, your reference to the Yotes lacked substance in terms of geographical placement – the arena was free, the land was free, and 45 minutes from Scottsdale. Formula to market to farmers equates to a business loss from day one.

        Ellman did not sell the coyotes to Moyes, he surrended them. Ellman had the option fo the Los Arcos property but took free over input.

        Bottom line to Edmonton is there is risk involved in building an arena for a private operator that wishes to pay no rent. When there is no ultimatum to leave, as it is impossible to do so, the tables are turned.

        I am just waiting for the next city that TEAM OIL is going to refer to at the next radio hit,
        and embarrass themselves again.

  • The entire move to Phoenix was a complete disaster from day one. Poor planning at every level.

    The thing that’s messed up is the city can’t afford having the team leave, and they can’t afford to keep the team there either.

    This whole situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better. Winnipeg won’t get their team back, but they probably will get the Thrashers in 2-3 years.

      • Ender

        Speaking as a guy with a teenage daughter (well, 12 going on 29) I’d have to say that if you’re committed to the age 25 plan, Arch, you better put the crib in the basement now and start boning up on your home-schooling techniques. And remember to keep telling her that all human life except your family was destroyed in the Apocolypse of 2009. Dont skimp on the basement door deadbolt maintenance; kids these days are always testing their boundries. You play your cards right, these next 25 years will breeze right along. And think how happy she’ll be at 25 when you let her out and she finds out you were just kidding. Boy will you guys laugh about that, I bet. 🙂

  • I Am The Law

    Wayne, you’re right that the situation in Phoenix sucks. But, what are the alternatives?

    1) Put the team on hiatus: This would create an unbalanced league, schedule, etc., and usually when things go into hiatus, they tend not to come back (Arena Football League came “back from hiatus”, but really came back from bankruptcy).

    2) Fold the team: Same problems as above. While I’m a fan of folding, say, four teams, I can see why the owners may not be as excited, not to mention the hit the NHL would take in being seen as a “Major League”.

    3) Move the team to Winnipeg or Quebec City: Any arena built in these cities, will likely be done so with public money as well. Not to mention that outside of the provincial government and Canadian Forces, I don’t know of any large business presence in these cities that would fill up luxury boxes. However, local law firms, and other businesses might. I could be wrong.

    4) Move the team somewhere else: Would hockey catch on in Kansas City? Would Seattle cough up for a new arena after the Sonics debacle? I’m not particularly convinced, and you might end up with the same problems five years from now.

    5) Leave the team as it is and try to find an owner: This is what is happening now. The NHL takes a hit, but doesn’t have to re-arrange the schedule/league. There are business entities that will buy boxes, but maybe not fill them. A winning season might also do some good. Remember, back in 2000, Nashville was drawing more fans than Edmonton, Vancouver, and Calgary…

    I don’t like to see cities get fleeced for new arenas, and I hope that the people of Edmonton don’t get suckered, either (as bad as a new arena is needed). But, don’t harp on Glendale for thinking it could create a new commercial center based on sports. There are economists still churning out books saying this works (despite loads of evidence to the contrary), and it seems that it is the same thing being pushed for in Edmonton.

    Also, keep in mind that the original lease was for, I believe, 30 years. That would have been similar to the situation in Edmonton, if it worked out. But it wouldn’t have been so “brilliant” if the Oilers left in the ’90s. Hindsight is 20/20.

    The whole situation sucks, and I think that if the NHL practiced some transparency, some of the pain could have been reduced. But this is the situation that exists now, and it’s a shame that more people who care about hockey aren’t trying to think of ways to get out of this.

    (Personally, I’d try to find a buyer in Seattle, but one who’d commit for ten years, given the tepidness of fans in the Pacific Northwest…not a diss, just an observation from 12 years of living there…but I could be very wrong with that suggestion)

    P.S. I agree that there are more important things than hockey for Glendale to be worrying about. But that’s a different topic for another day.

    • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

      Winnipeg won’t be building a new arena.

      A few area businesses that are sure to buy boxes if the Jets return:

      Manitoba Telecom Services
      Ipsos Reid
      Palliser Furniture
      Great-West Life Assurance
      Motor Coach Industries
      New Flyer Industries
      Boeing Canada Technology
      Bristol Aerospace
      Nygård International
      Canad Inns
      Investors Group

      Not to mention the ridiculous amount of public sector businesses like Manitoba Public Insurance (who heavily support the Manitoba Moose). I think you vastly underestimate corporate Winnipeg.

        • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

          I’m waiting for the day when I can chronicle my soon-to-be most recent trip to see the Oil in person.

          Oh! I also forgot to mention the smaller businesses that go halfers on luxury boxes. Hell, that’s how the average Joe affords season tickets – right?

          The insurance brokerage I used to work for goes in with some company that engineers lasers and whatnot. They gave the box out as a reward for top producer (which was me, more often that not).

        • Did you see that guy on FN say he would rather gouge his eyes out with a pen then read my ‘douchebag articles from up North?’

          I have half a mind to find this guy and pants him, then take his girlfriend for a steak dinner and NEVER CALL HER AGAIN.

      • Revenue Canada’s large presence in Winnipeg has spawned a massive service industry in the legal and financial sectos in WPG too.

        Some of Canada’s highest paid tax lawyers and auditors live in WPG and would toss mad skrilla at Les Jets.

        I wonder who owns the Jets trademarks nowadays? Someone is pocketing cash whenever Jets gear is sold…

        • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

          Oh I know. There are some pretty big corporate law firms here like Aikins, McAuley and Thorvaldson, too. My ex’s dad was a partner there. We saw NIN in that box, once.

          Manitoba Public Insurance is a crown corporation that tosses cash at hockey. I remember one game last year where they bought all of the upper-bowl tickets and gave them to elementary school patrols on the condition that they all wear their orange safety vests. Then they gave them traffic-pylon-orange thunder sticks. The energy that night was insane.

          For my betting money, I’m putting a hefty wager on the fact that Jets merch brings in more cheddar than Atlanta, Phoenix, Florida, and current-day NYI put together. There’s more Jets merch in sports stores here than there is for ‘flavour-of-the-year’ NHL teams, and it -sells-. Kind of pathetic when a city of 700,000 people who haven’t had a team for 15 years can out-sell a city whose team made the playoffs this year.

    • Not sure Seattle builds a new arena. That would be nice. After losing the Sonics, hopefully they decide they better build a new arena to lure an NHL/NBA team back. I’d love to see an NHL team in Seattle, but I have my doubts they get a building with any public money involved. Portland, on the other hand, has a suitable building in place. I’d love to see Paul Allen just decide one day “hey, after lunch, I think I’m going to go buy an NHL team”. THAT would be awesome. Portland Panthers?

    • I met this dude awhile back who was some high flying lawyer in Winnipeg and we got to talking and he said “Balsillie aside, a second Canadian Billionaire wants an NHL team. David Thomson will have a team within three years in Winnipeg. He has worked the system properly from the inside, getting NHL permission first and not attempting a hostile takeover.”

      If I was a betting man (which I most certainly am) I’d lay a wager behind this dude’s confidence.

      The Canadian Economy is simply going to be stronger than many Southern US markets for a generation at a minimum. And that is the math behind a Winnipeg (smaller arena, less volitile economy, loonie at par with US dollar) can have a team over a PHX/ATL.

      The bar has been lowered as a result of the economy tanking and the dollar reordering itself.

      Winnipeg before 2015 guaranteed.

  • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

    My uncle has a winter home in the Phoenix area and the City Council in his area voted AGAINST having street lights in their City. They couldn’t justify paying taxes for the street lights and the people who live in that area have lost 2/3 of their homes value in the last 2 years.

    I was down there in March and I couldn’t and still can’t believe that you can buy a 2400 sq ft house with a pool for under and in some cases well under 100k.

  • I Am The Law

    @ Ogden Kings ‘n’ Pretty Things: Thanks for pointing that out. As I said, I could be wrong, and I stand corrected. I hope that they would be able to support a team. Thanks again for clearing that up!!

    @ RossCreek: I agree with your assessment of Seattle. I think the arena would have to be private. Portland would be an interesting choice…

    @ Wayne: Given your track record with inside information, I’m completely deferring to you on that one. I’d bet you’re right.

  • Some interesting tidbits from Matty in the Journal today:

    – suggests not a lot of teams lining up for Souray (no surprise), but mentions the Sharks & Devils as possibilities… says Sharks would likely offer up D Kent Huskins ($1.7M) & F Torrey Mitchell ($1.3M).
    – suggests Oil dangle #31 to CHI for F Kris Versteeg.
    – Oilers won’t be resigning F Vlad Trukhno or F Geoff Paukauvich, and may let Ryan O’Marra go in favour of Colin McDonald.
    – the word on D John Scott is he’s a great dressing-room prescence who can often be found doing crossword puzzles an hour after the game; also trying to finish his degree in engineering.
    – says you can bet the Oilers are asking Boston about Blake Wheeler and/or #15 in any talks of swapping picks, but also mentions 23 yr old 6’5″ RW Mikko Lehtonen down on the farm.

  • Do the Oilers have a deal with Bruins already in the drawer ? Is Tambellini now working on other GM’s to beat that offer seeing as Hall is meeting with several other GM,s ? Is he trying to up offer from the Bruins by doing so ? Third, and most unlikely option , is Hall will not sign with us .

  • Can someone tell me why I might be cheering for the Hawks?

    Seems like an odd question, but usually when the Oilers are out and I support another team to win that cup I can explain why I chose them.

    For the Hawks I cannot, yet I still want them to win.

    Maybe if someone else here who also wants the Hawks to win tells me why they cheer for them I can figure it out.

    • I am cheering for Chicago because “if they can do it, we can do it”…they give me hope for the possibility of the Oilers properly rebuilding and developing into a cup contender in the future.

      Plus, there is something about Philly that I just don’t like.

      • Milli

        Ya, although I am cheering the Flyers (due to the amount of cash I will win) looking at the Hawks is exciting for what the future could be, might be, oh hell, FOR WHAT THE FUTURE WILL BE!!!!!

          • Milli

            I’d love to say it’s cuz I’m so smart, but, was reading a Gregor article at the start of the playoffs about the Pronger effect and I was also looking for an upset special, seemed to go together, and man do I look smart now!

  • Milli

    I love listening to Bob Stauffer’s insight…very plugged in to the team, so I’m putting my vote in for him to take over for Roddy. Better get a ton of water Bobby, and your partner will need a spit shield. LOL, still the guy though.

    Weird thing about Bob though is his stance on the draft. Question: If this draft was 5 years ago and Stauffer was still on the radio, who would he be lobbying to get here? I think it’s obvious.

    Is the Edmonton sports media doing favours for Tambo….trying to create diversions?

    • I cant see how the Edmonton sports media is helping Tambellini. Stauffer, Brownlee, Gregor, and the morning guys are all strongly hinting that the Oilers are leaning towards Seguin. If they were trying to help Tambi then I would expect the opposite, considering the Bruins want Hall more than Seguin.

      • Deep Oil

        I’ve been listening to Stauffer since day one. In the past he was the guy that always challenged management. I can’t help but think he would be screaming HALL at Tambo through his microphone in different circumstances. The “watered down version” of him won’t say squat.

    • Dyckster

      At worst Hall will go second, Stoll went 46th the first time around and 36th the second. Using Taylor Hall in context with Lindros is reasonable. Comparing Hall to Stoll is not.

    • Most likely I know this because if a situation arose where Hall was refusing to sign with the Oilers then he would have been selected with the first overall pick.

      You never fail to amaze me with your staggering ability to ignore logic. Most of us sort of look away from it once in a while, but you have made an apparent lifelong practice of pretending it doesn’t even exist.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Whenever I read Deep Oil’s commentary I feel like I’m listening to AM 1260’s version of Coast to Coast AM.

    Conspiracy Sport Blogging is a niche I don’t think I needed filled.